Paul Ashworth: “I gained experience in every country where I worked, and I hope my experience will help FC Astana to become better”
Today, the new Executive Director of the Football Club Astana, Paul Ashworth, was presented, in addition to his native England, there are Latvia, Nigeria and Russia on his track record.
14 January, 2019
The first interview in the new position Paul gave to the Press Service of the capital club, where he spoke about his tasks and experience, which he will use in his work in FC Astana:
- I would like to thank the General Director of the Presidential Club, Askar Batalov, and the management of the general partner of the club Samruk Kazyna for the trust that was given to me as I was appointed to the Football Club Astana. At the moment, it is clear that the former President of the club, Sayan Khamitzhanov, and the Executive Director, Kaisar Bekenov, did a great job, showing a very big result – the team won the champion title for five years in a row. I want to now that FC Astana was the best in the country for at least another five years, and also show the result in Europe. Now my task is to make the club continue its successful performance and develop only to be the better.
- When a proposal to work in FC Astana was received, you probably studied the club, what are the directions for improvement?
- In any case, a view from the outside and when you work in a club are completely different things. I can’t talk about any changes right now, I need time to see the work from the inside. Kazakhstan is the fifth country for me, I have a good relationship with England, and I want FC Astana to reach the level of the English Premier League. I want FC Astana to strive for the best league of the World in its work, in the work of the youth academy, the level of football players, and then our game will also be close to the level of England.
- You worked in four countries, what can you apply from your experience to the Kazakhstan club?
- If to compare with England, I have a lot of contacts in my homeland, in November I visited 10 top clubs of the country, including Manchester City, Liverpool and others, looked at their work, how the process was built. Perhaps we will try to send the management or employees of the club to England, so that they could see this work with their own eyes, feel that high level. For a long time I worked in Latvia, where I met the current coach of FC Astana, Roman Grigorchuk, we opposed each other as coaches many times. I know that he is a very good coach, I know his requirements and work style. I know Evgeni Postnikov, who played 2 years ago in Ventspils on loan when I worked there. In Latvia, I played in European Competitions; as a coach I played 26 matches in UEFA tournaments. In Russia, I was a Sports Director in FC Rostov, participated in the construction of a base, was engaged in selection, and also learnt Russian, from my experience I realized that the language of communication is an important factor in the building of work and relationships. With my participation, FC Rostov managed to sell Essau Kanyenda to FC Lokomotiv. Also I participated in picking the team, so I have experience in the Russian football system, which is close to Kazakhstan. The last country was Nigeria, where I have seen a lot of good players, I have a lot of contacts left. You know that Nigeria has won the Youth World Cup twice in the last three years; this is a very good indicator of the development of young players. While working at Ventspils, I involved one of the players of that team, Alpha Abdullahi, as well as two other Nigerians, one of whom was Adeleke Akinemi, who later became the top scorer of the Latvian Championship and was sold to the club Start in the strong Norwegian Championship. Plus, I have good connections in Brazil, where my former assistant at the coaching staff of Skonto works. I gained experience in every country where I worked and I hope that this experience will be able to help FC Astana to become better.